If there’s one economic trend that has defined the current era in the United States as well as in other advanced economies it is increasing economic inequality and lackluster economic growth. Not since the beginning of the 20th century have we seen inequality in incomes and wealth rise to such extreme levels. Yet the narrative that has persisted over the post-war period is an economic orthodoxy of a bygone era—that there is a tradeoff between equity and efficiency, and that the best way to foster economic growth is through a relentless supply-side focus on capital formation. If the goal of policymakers is to create economies that provide better standards of living and promote the well-being of all people, then economists and policymakers alike must confront the relevancy of old theories amid new evidence and new ideas. Focusing on the United States, Heather Boushey will explain how the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s mission is to advance evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. She will make the case that the old way of thinking hasn’t worked, and describe how her organization is laying the foundation within academia and the policymaking community on which new economic policies can be built.
Heather Boushey is Executive Director and Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and co-editor of a volume of 22 essays about how to integrate inequality into economic thinking, “After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality.” Her research focuses on economic inequality and public policy, specifically employment, social policy, and family economic well-being and her latest book is “Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict” from Harvard University Press. The New York Times has called Boushey one of the “most vibrant voices in the field” and Politico twice named her one of the top 50“thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics.”
Boushey writes regularly for popular media, including The New York Times’ “Room for Debate,” The Atlantic, and Democracy; and she makes frequent television appearances on Bloomberg, MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS. She previously served as Chief Economist for Hillary Clinton’s transition team, and as an economist for the Center for American Progress, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute. She sits on the board of the Opportunity Institute and is an Associate Editor of Feminist Economics. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research and her B.A. from Hampshire College.